Posted on 12/18/2017 at 12:00 AM by Blog Experts

At the Art of Education 2017 Summer Conference, Dr. Sarah Ackermann discussed how she started implementing a maker mindset in her students. She stressed the importance of preparing students for working in a makerspace.

With her middle school students, Dr. Ackermann asked her students to think about the flow of the current school building. After they studied the flow, she asked them to design a building they thought would work better.

To help students transition from a more traditional art program, Dr. Ackermann introduced an Art It Forward> project, in which a student privately drew a charcoal portrait of all the students in the school. One night, he hung each of the portraits around the building. Students were awestruck as they were greeted with portraits of themselves. Sarah then asked her students to think about their audience, their canvas, and their message. Students brought in any materials that weren’t already in the art room. These choices empowered students.

At the elementary school, Dr. Ackermann co-taught art. She gave the students choice in what to create and the materials they wanted to use to create it. She also introduced them to kinetic art, such as Rube Golberg machines.

Dr. Ackermann’s advice to transitioning to makerspaces is to think like a maker, train your makers, and grow as you go. In order to think like a maker, you have to be a maker yourself. Gater resources and visuals for students. Follow makers on social media. Next, train your makers. Together develop your mutual understanding of what defines art. Surround students with inspiration. Have students look for problems they can solve. Finally, grow as you go. Start out with what you have and slowly add to your resources. Be enthusiastic, and your students will be creating and designing and solving problems through art.

Northwest AEA Media Center has several resources to help you begin your makerspace. Here are a few of the resources.

Cohen, J. (2015). Getting the most out of makerspaces to build robots.

Fleming, L. (2015). World of making: Best practices for establishing a makerspace for your school.

Hamilton, M. & Schmidt, D. H. (2015). Make it here: Inciting creativity and innovation in your library.

Lang, D. (2013). Zero to maker: Learn (just enough) to make (just about) anything.

Levete, S. (2017). Maker projects for kids who love exploring the outdoors.

Peltrikowski, M.P. (2015). Getting the most out of makerspaces to create with 3D printers.

Rosalund, S. (2014). Makerspaces.

Roza, G. (2015). Getting the most out of makerspaces to make musical instruments.

Shea, T. (2015). Getting the most out of makerspaces to go from idea to market.

Sjonger, R. (2016). Maker projects for kids who love games.

Sjonger, R. (2016). Maker projects for kids who love music.

Sjonger, R. (2017). Maker projects for kids who love paper engineering.

Spence, K. (2017). Maker projects for kids who love photography.

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